Alan Power and Lee Beevers both returned to the City starting line-up for this televised local derby against Grimsby Town at Blundell Park. Beevers returned at right-back with former Mariner Bradley Wood pushed forward into midfield whilst Power started just behind front man Matt Rhead.
Grimsby kicked off and after a quiet opening, Terry Hawkridge won the first corner of the game but it was cleared by the Grimsby defence. A second corner followed in the 10th minute and this ended with Craig Stanley blazing over from 25 yards.
There was a break in in play three minutes later as Town defender Conor Townsend needed attention and before he hobbled back on there was a harsh decision against Stanley following a fair looking challenge on Padraig Amond. When the free-kick was played in Paul Farman pulled off a superb save with his feet from a downward heder before the offside flag went up.
Callum Howe then won the ball in a challenge on Omar Bogle but again the hosts were awarded a free-kick. Justice was done as the set-piece ended up with Bogle firing well over.
Although City shaded the opening 20 minutes, it was the hosts who grabbed the lead when a pacy Bogle cross from the left found Amond who headed powerfully past Farman at the back post.
A third City corner was won by Wood three minutes after this set back but after Greg Tempest's delivery was half-cleared, home stopper James McKeown claimed Hawkridge's cross. Play then switched to the other end with Grimsby winning their first corner but City held firm and cleared their lines.
In the 28th minute Jack Muldoon was denied by McKeown after he was released by Stanley down the middle. A minute later the ball was played forward to Amond who got the better of Waterfall who dragged him to the floor. Although the Town striker was going away from goal and Tempest was covering, referee Adrian Holmes deemed him to be last man and out came a red card.
Farman brilliantly denied Townsend from the resultant free-kick with the sending off seeing Beevers move to centre-back with Wood dropping back to right-back. Beevers was quickly forced to head a cross out for a corner.
Shortly afterwards a Muldoon cross was cleared off Rhead's head by Monkhouse for a corner before drama ensued in the 36th minute when Craig Disley went in high on Hawkridge. Players from both sides exchanged views before Disley was eventually booked rather than shown a straight red which the challenge arguably deserved.
A minute before the break the advancing Wood drew a foul out of Craig Clay but Hawkridge's floated free-kick was headed into McKeown's gloves by Howe. As two added minutes was indicated City won another corner and when this was cleared a Grimsby counter-attack ended with Wood blocking a Bogle shot.
HT: GRIMSBY 1 IMPS 0
Both teams were unchanged as the Imps got the second half underway.
Town were the first to threaten with a Townsend cross deflecting off Wood for an early Grimsby corner which Beevers headed clear. The hosts were then forced to make a change in the 50th minute with Townsend hobbling off injured. Gregor Robertson came on as his replacement.
Monkhouse headed well wide after the hosts kept a corner alive whilst at the other end the ball got tangled under Muldoon's feet after good hold up play by Rhead. Town's response saw Arnold fire into the side netting after Farman forced him wide and close to the goal line.
Shortly before the hour mark a Hawkridge free-kick lead to a City corner on the left which was flicked off Rhead's head by Gowling whilst superb covering from Hawkridge saw him track back and rob Arnold of a clear run on goal. He then went up the other end and won a corner which Rhead headed wide.
In the 63rd minute a curling effort from Power was held at the second attempt by McKeown whilst at the other end three minutes later Bogle sent a powerful drive inches over and out for a goal kick, although Farman appeared to get his fingertips to it.
After a rare quiet spell Farman got down well to tip behind a low Clay effort with the resultant corner going out for a City goal-kick. Conner Robinson then replaced Terry Hawkridge in the 74th minute.
A couple of minutes later Rhead flicked on a Tempest throw before McKeown somehow emerged with the ball in his gloves following a scramble. Before play restarted Muldoon needed treatment in the six-yard box.
In the 77th minute Muldoon was denied a sight of goal by a great last ditch tackle by Tait whilst at the other end Farman denied Bogle with his feet. Shortly afterwards the City stopper was picking the ball out of his net for a second time when Arnold drilled home after he was released by Amond.
Amond then fired inches over with Town clearly buoyed by Arnold's strike and as City responded Robinson fired into the side netting after a Rhead flick-on put him in with a sniff.
With five minutes on the clock Farman was quickly off his line to deny Amond. Ex-Imp Marcus Marshall then replaced Arnold before Kegan Everington and Chris Bush came on for Craig Stanley and Lee Beevers for City.
In the final minute of normal time Jon-Paul Pittman replaced Omar Bogle for Grimsby as the hosts ate up some more seconds before the Fourth Official indicated a minimum of five additional minutes.
These extra stages were incident-free so it was the black and white contingent in the 7,650 crowd who went home happy with the bragging rights.
FT: GRIMSBY 2 IMPS 0
1 Paul FARMAN
2 Bradley WOOD
3 Greg TEMPEST
4 Craig STANLEY
5 Luke WATERFALL
7 Jack MULDOON
8 Alan POWER
9 Matt RHEAD
12 Terry HAWKRIDGE
18 Lee BEEVERS
26 Callum HOWE
6 Chris BUSH (for BEEVERS 86)
14 Conner ROBINSON (for HAWKRIDGE 74)
15 Kegan EVERINGTON (for STANLEY 86)
24 Craig REID
13 Aidan GRANT
SENDING OFF: WATERFALL (29)
1 James McKEOWN
2 Richard TAIT
6 Josh GOWLING
8 Craig DISLEY
9 Omar BOGLE
10 Padraig AMOND
11 Andy MONKHOUSE
16 Craig CLAY
20 Nathan ARNOLD
22 Aristote NSIALA
26 Connor TOWNSEND
3 Gregor ROBERTSON (for TOWNSEND 50)
5 Shaun PEARSON
14 Marcus MARSHALL (for ARNOLD 85)
18 Jon-Paul PITTMAN (for BOGLE 90)
28 Conor HENDERSON
GOALS: AMOND (21), ARNOLD (79)
BOOKING: DISLEY (37)
REFEREE: Adrian Holmes
ASSISTANTS: Natalie Aspinall & Harry Hawkins
FOURTH OFFICIAL: Alf Greenwood
ATTENDANCE: 7,650 (1,199 City supporters)